Jenson Button has reacted to rare praise from former team boss Flavio Briatore with the same dismissive attitude as the Italian previously showed to his F1 career.
The Briton was overseen by Briatore in his second and third seasons in the top flight, but was branded a 'lazy playboy' by the Italian after succumbing to the trappings of an F1 career. That spell at Renault
could have spelt the end of Button as an F1 driver, but he resurrected his career with BAR, Honda and, most spectacularly, with a world title at Brawn GP
over the next seven seasons, but still could not win approval from his former employer.
Since moving to McLaren
in 2010, however, Button has begun to make a positive impact on Briatore who, having seen the Briton rise to second in this year's championship standings - ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton
- finally relented and told an Italian radio station that he was 'quite wrong' in his previous assessment of his talents.
“He has been the surprise this year," Briatore continued, "I would never have guessed he was so good.”
Button, however, has shrugged off the plaudits from a man currently serving a suspension from F1 for his part in the 'crash-gate' scandal arising from the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," the Briton told reporters at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit, "Flavio is very outspoken, [so] I suppose it's nice for him to realise his wrong decisions and to turn around and say that. Up until this year, he has always been negative, even when I won the world championship. Even last year he said the results I was getting were down to luck, so it's nice, but unnecessary.
"It really doesn't mean much to me. I read it and it made me smile - then I forgot it!"